Planting Seeds From the Ground Up

Staci Strauss

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Organic Gardening is planting seeds for a garden-based education with their Dig, Plant, Grow! curriculum guide.

First, a little history–In 1942, J.I. Rodale already knew there was a problem with agriculture with its toxic mix of chemicals. So he founded Organic Farming and Gardening magazine (now Organic Gardening).

His working thesis was the correlation between the unhealthiness of America’s farmland soil and the declining health of America’s people. He started his magazine to help folks begin to return vigor to the soil and grow fresh, healthy food.

Today, it’s agreed that Mr. Rodale is the originator of the organic movement in America.

So, Rodale knows what they are talking about when it comes to planting seeds of change.

The best way to teach gardening is to garden!

Organic Gardening Editor-in-chief, Ethne Clarke writing on the Huffington Post’s Food for Thought states in her post Organic Gardening’s Going to School:

We posted “Dig, Plant, Grow!” a curriculum designed to assist teachers who wish to make an edible garden for their schools. School gardens are an asset that should be part of every learning system, and in the past they often were. But like school orchestras and outdoor recess, they felt the cut of the budget knife–or were spurned by the altered expectations of educationalists (formerly known as teachers.)

Getting kids involved in their own edible gardens produces more than just dirty fingernails. Kids learn gardening (and the larger lessons emanating from the practice) by … gardening! What a concept.

Ms. Clarke explains:

Which brings me to gardening. A few years ago it was reported that in healthy, organically managed soil there exists a soilborne bacteria, Mycobacterium vaccae, that triggers the release of mood-enhancing, anxiety-decreasing serotonin. Add to that the fact that most digging in the soil is done in the open air on sunny days, and you have a recipe for good health. In Organic Gardening‘s terms, the equation is: healthy soil = healthy people = healthy planet.

Nowadays teachers need all the help they can get and with the free download of their Garden Curriculum that Rodale has designed, planning a school garden has never been easier.

This is what the magazine says about their program. This from their site:

Organic Gardening’s mission is to “live lightly from the ground up.” This is especially relevant as the possible threats of climate change and the detriments of unhealthy eating, on both the planet and its people, are at the forefront of current media coverage. Many across the world would agree that the challenges of our planet’s ecological situation demand that we find ways to “live lightly” and take action toward a more environmentally minded future.

HandPicked Nation wholeheartedly believes in exposing kids to the wonder of nature, soil, seeds, plants, animals, insects–all the elements that combine to grow a carrot or a tomato. Kids who are able to be a part of a program such as Organic Gardening’s Dig, Plant, Grow curriculum will be very much richer for it.

Organic Gardening says this about the benefits of this initiative:

 While these lessons offer ways to integrate gardening into your teaching, don’t forget: The best way to teach gardening is to garden! By engaging students in planning, planting, and harvesting, you’ll be enriching them with amazing lessons to help them grow!

We agree.

Share this program with the teachers in your community. Make them aware of this valuable tool Organic Gardening has made available. Let’s begin healing our communities by planting seeds from the ground up.

Is there a edible garden program at your child’s school? Will you share this with the teachers you know?

Photo credit: Organic Gardening